Smosh

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Smosh TV Poster Image
Long-running comedy channel has language, iffy jokes.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Behind-the-scenes compilations for current videos show what goes into filming each scenario: costumes, script, makeup, setting, cameras, etc., encouraging media literacy in viewers. Satire in many videos (such as the "Every ____ Ever" segments) may also encourage young viewers to thoughtfully consider what they see and hear. Behind-the-scenes videos may also be a little more casual, with more cursing and questionable jokes. Humor sometimes "punches down," making fun of marginalized groups like fat people, rural people, etc. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Older videos featuring just Padilla and Hecox are rougher and more casual and may contain more language and insensitive jokes. Newer videos feature a cast with good ethnic, racial, and gender diversity, and are a bit milder. Notably, female cast members are not objectified, even in Smosh's "sexy" videos (which are often quite silly). 

Violence

Violence is comic, like in a skit mocking The Magic School Bus where "Mrs. Frizzle" slaps another character in the face for backtalk. Later on, the character is referred to as being "dead and buried" in a comic song. In other shorts, characters punch each other in the face or engage in brawls, often with cartoon-style sound effects. 

Sex

Some skits reference sex, like a man who is so turned on by his girlfriend's large new eyebrows that he licks them and says "Let's just stay in tonight." In other videos, cast members play Spin the Bottle and kiss, giggling; mock high school sex-ed presentations (with a reference to "eating a girl's booty like groceries") and talk about their relationship status. Body parts are mentioned: "t-tties," "d--k," "butthole." "Sexy" Smosh videos often feature cast members (male and female) in briefer-than-usual outfits and in settings like a hot tub; the antics are often goofy instead of sexy, however. 

Language

Cursing and language includes "hell," "ass," "goddamn," "a--hole," "damn," "f--k" (bleeped), "t-tties," "freaking," "tool" (used as an insult), "booty," "butthole," "d--k." Smosh's audio ID tag contains a sound file of someone yelling "Shut up!"

Consumerism

It's worth noting that each short YouTube video is preceded by an ad, which makes them harder to avoid. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jokes sometimes reference drugs or alcohol: "Are you high?" "I'm a jock, I slam 40 beers on a weekend." Sometimes the references to substances are subverted: "I also slam books hard to maintain my 4.6 grade point average," says that same jock. Cast members pretend to smoke giant fake cigarettes in one skit. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the content on this YouTube channel is PG-13 level: Jokes may target iffy and sensitive topics such as sex, relationships, drugs, alcohol, racism, domestic violence, and more. Language on every channel can be a little raw: Viewers will hear "hell," "ass," "goddamn," "a--hole," "damn," "f--k" (bleeped), "t-tties," "freaking," "tool" (used as an insult), "booty," "butthole," "d--k." Cast members -- who are notably diverse in race, gender, and ethnicity, if not age or body type -- sometimes joke about drugs or alcohol, pretending to smoke cigarettes and drink beer, as well as referring to being "high." Some skits contain comic violence: face punches and brawls, often with cartoon-style "boing!" sound effects. Some skits also reference sex: They may take place in hot tubs, feature games of Spin the Bottle, mock high school sex-ed presentations. "Sexy" videos are often silly instead of sexy, but may feature cast members (male and female) in brief costumes. Many skits are satirical, which may encourage viewers to think more critically about what they see, hear, and think. Videos are also preceded by commercials, some 30 seconds or longer -- you can't fast-forward through them, either, and they may advertise products or services that aren't friendly to young viewers. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBroke B. May 10, 2018
Adult Written byA Real Parent October 17, 2018

Great YouTube channel! Not necessarily for kids, but jokes will fly over young peoples heads.

Smosh is a fantastic YouTube channel who's content is aimed at teenagers. They have some rude jokes and references, but they will fly over young kids heads... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDiamondmaster November 18, 2017

The kings of sketch comedy!

These guys are the best!
Teen, 16 years old Written bymarvelfreak November 9, 2017

Mature but funny youtube channel is NOT for kids

First of all let me say this channel is great! It is one of the best sketch comedy channels and teens will probably most likely enjoy it. There are also some p... Continue reading

What's the story?

The long-running (2005-present) YouTube channel SMOSH is one of the most popular dedicated content channels, and has many different types of content on different sub-channels. The two most-watched are Smosh, which offers short comedy videos that often satirize things like movies or memes or TV shows, and Smosh Games, with hosts that play board games, computer games, and other types of challenges and games. Older videos star Smosh co-creators Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox; gradually, other characters took part in various shorts, and now Smosh sub-channels are hosted by other cast members, and a cast was formally hired to star in skits. In 2017, Padilla departed Smosh to form his own channel; content on his old channel has been largely unaffected in tone. Popular Smosh series include "Every ___ Ever," "Food Battle," and "If ___ Was Real." 

Is it any good?

Silly, satirical, and appealing to tweens and teens due to the homegrown playful topics, Smosh makes kids laugh, and may also make them think. Much of the humor in the skits that are the mainstay of the channel makes fun of things and the funny things people do -- a potentially racist coffee machine, the way people honk at other cars in the road, a neighbor who shows up at inopportune moments -- rather than people themselves. Though jokes may occasionally be rude (a cast member refers repeatedly to "eating a girl's booty like groceries" in one sketch), they're not mean. And the cast members are all treated with respect, even when they're being very silly. 

Sexual references, language, and humor about drugs and alcohol may make parents want to rethink allowing younger children to watch this channel without supervision. But middle schoolers and younger teens will find much of Smosh pretty funny, and may additionally be inspired by the channel's game young cast to create their own videos.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why homegrown videos like those on Smosh are more popular with teen and tween viewers than televised skit shows like Saturday Night Live. What do the YouTube shows offer that network TV doesn't? What are the differences between the two? 

  • In 2017, Smosh co-creator Anthony Padilla left the YouTube channel he co-founded and started his own channel, citing his need for creative freedom. Have you watched Padilla's new channel? What has he done with his creative freedom? How was Smosh affected by the departure? Can you name other shows or channels with notable departures? Did they get better afterwards? Or worse? 

  • How has Smosh changed over time? Has the humor matured as the creators have? What age did Smosh originally appeal to? Has that changed? 

TV details

For kids who love YouTube

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